Myanmar’s military leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has reportedly agreed to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) peace effort in the country.
Hlaing made the pledge in a joint statement on Friday after meeting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who was visiting Myanmar, reported NHK World.
The statement said the military leader will help an ASEAN special envoy mediate dialogue between the military and pro-democracy forces.
It also said he will extend a ceasefire with ethnic minority militias until the end of the year, reported NHK World.
Cambodia is ASEAN’s rotating chair this year. Hun Sen expressed his willingness to bring Myanmar back into the group’s summits.
Min Aung Hlaing, who led a coup last February, is currently barred from attending due to the military’s continued crackdowns on activists.
Myanmar’s military has been reluctant to accept a mediator despite previously expressing support for ASEAN’s special envoy to the country and agreeing to a ceasefire.
ASEAN is expected to discuss ways to deal with Myanmar based on the results of Hun Sen’s visit, reported NHK World.
Min Aung Hlaing is the one who led a coup against an elected civilian government in February and detained the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi over alleged election irregularities.
In August, Min Aung Hlaing declared himself Prime Minister of a newly formed caretaker government. During an address to the nation on August 1, he repeated a pledge to hold elections by 2023.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar security forces with thousands of others arrested, according to the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the country’s tentative democracy and prompted international condemnation.
In a recent update, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the conflict has intensified over the past month, with increased reports of army raids across Myanmar, especially in the northwest and southeast regions. (ANI)